Stardust (the NASA mission, not the ballad)

In the interest of full disclosure, I want you to know what kind of nerd you’re dealing with when you visit this Web site. In 1998, NASA put out a call for names to be inscribed onto two microchips that would go into space on the Stardust mission. Stardust was NASA’s first attempt to fly through a comet and collect a sample.

Jen and I were living in Japan at the time, and I submitted my name. I made it on Chip #2! That still thrills me, and I realize what that implies, so you don’t need to bring it up. There were actually two sets of chips — one set that would fly through the comet and return with the sample-collecting spacecraft, and another set that would stay out in space forever.

Early this morning, Stardust returned to Earth. Welcome back, and bring on the science!